The Best Neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, IA

The Best Neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, IA

Aerial View of Cedar Rapids Downtown Skyline

Cedar Rapids is a beautiful, historic city located in east central Iowa. As the second largest city in the state of Iowa, Cedar Rapids offers a wide range of attractions and activities. The city is home to the famed Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which features world-renowned collections of art spanning from ancient times to the present day. Most notable are pieces from Marvin Cone and Grant Wood- two Cedar Rapids natives and friends.

Cedar Rapids also has a rich history as a center of trade and commerce. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, as well as some amazing shopping opportunities. Cedar Rapids has some of the best neighborhoods in Iowa. If you’re looking to explore or move to eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is the place to be.

The city offers a wide range of schools, residential amenities, and a large entertainment and art influence. From breathtaking views at Cedar Lake to plenty of dining options for everyone, Cedar Rapids is the perfect place to settle down or for people looking for a fun adventure! Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, IA.

The District

Wall Mural in Cedar Rapids, IA
Wall Mural in New Bohemia

Also referred to as “The District”, located on the south end of Cedar Rapids, this neighborhood consists of Czech Village and New Bohemia. Filled with rich history and culture, this is a fun and interesting change of scenery and environment from your everyday neighborhoods.

Czech Village & New Bohemia

With the Czech Village on the west side and New Bohemia on the east side, The District was started in the Cedar Rapids area because of the Sinclair Meatpacking Plant which created hundreds of job opportunities for Bohemians. Since then the European population that occupied the area continued to build the neighborhood’s architecture and reputation.

Schools in Cedar Rapids are part of the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Some schools in the Czech Village area include:

  • Cedar River Academy at Taylor Elementary
  • Hayes School
  • Cedar Valley Montessori School
  • Iowa BIG
  • Trinity Lutheran School


Within these two neighborhoods, you can find a plethora of entertainment, dining, and living options. The District welcomes small businesses and entrepreneurs, which brings many unique options for things to do. Some of the most popular entertainment and dining options in The District include:

  • The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library
  • NewBo City Market
  • Czech National Cemetary
  • Czech Heritage Park at St. Wenceslaus Church
  • Lucky’s on 16th
  • Lu’s Deli
  • Cafe St. Pio
  • Brewhemia
  • Rodina
  • Sweet Mercantile

Cedar Hills

Photo of trees in the woods
Morgan Creek Park in Cedar Rapids

If you are moving with a family, Cedar Hills is the perfect place for you! This Cedar Rapids neighborhood is the perfect setting for families as it offers public parks, nearby schools, nearby shops, and job opportunities.

This neighborhood is home to Cherry Hill park which has more to offer than your everyday playground. The park offers a pool, playground, baseball fields, soccer fields, and more! Whether your child is into sports or just wants to play with friends, Cherry Hill park has everything to accommodate their needs! Some nearby schools include Taft Middle School and Jefferson High School.

The average home price for the Cedar Hills neighborhood is around $160K. Not only is this neighborhood accommodating and filled with family fun, but it is also very affordable!

Worthington Acres

If you are looking for a more laid-back, suburban life, but with a fun environment, check out Worthington Acres. Also known as Lincolnway Village, Worthington Acres offers both regular housing and apartment options.

Worthington Acres is known as a diverse and welcoming neighborhood, perfect for any lifestyle you choose. The average housing price in this neighborhood is around $180K and apartment rentals offer prices of around $900 a month. Many of the residences in this neighborhood are newly built, which contributes to its welcoming vibe. According to Neighborhood Scout, Worthington Acres has one of the lowest neighborhood rates of children living in poverty.

This neighborhood’s welcomeness also stems from the amount of diversity in the neighborhood. Almost half of the neighborhood’s residents are German and there are also a few Czechoslovakian descendants as well.

Worthington Acres might be especially attractive to college students as it is close to Kirkwood Community College! Some schools nearby Worthington Acres include:

  • Prairie Edge High School
  • Prairie Point Middle School
  • Prairie Creek Intermediate School
  • Prairie Hill Elementary School
  • Champions of Grant Elementary School
  • Champions of Wilson Middle School

Covington

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

Covington offers residents a slow, calm lifestyle. It sits just off of an old Chicago railroad and a newly finished Iowa Highway 100 extension. This little neighborhood may be small and calm now, but it will probably undergo some residential and commercial development in the future, as it sits right outside of the highway.

This quiet neighborhood sits on the outskirts of the city, offering residents a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Don’t let this sway you away from Covington, if you love the city, you are still just a short car drive away from downtown Cedar Rapids. Perhaps its prime location is what makes these home prices high. The median home price for the Covington neighborhood is around $227K. Although it is not as affordable as Cedar Hills, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds, with the suburban and city lifestyle within your reach.

If you work for a big company or are just looking for a more executive lifestyle, this Cedar Rapids neighborhood is perfect for you. As you can guess by the home prices, this neighborhood consists of some pretty wealthy residents.

Although, Covington is a little farther away from schools than other neighborhoods there are still many options within a short car ride distance. These schools include:

  • Roosevelt Creative Corridor Business Academy
  • Grant Elementary School
  • Saint Ludmilas School
  • Champions at Wilson Middle School
  • Hayes School

Otis

If you enjoy the outdoors, Otis is the neighborhood for you! The neighborhood gets its name from former Massachusetts politician, Harrison Gray Otis, so the neighborhood comes along with some history. This neighborhood borders the Cedar River which grants residents easy access to outdoor activities such as canoeing and kayaking!

The median home price for this neighborhood is around $160K with apartments for rent at around $700 a month. This is one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, IA. Along with that amazing affordability, you get to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Cedar River and all that it has to offer!

There are many schools nearby the Otis neighborhood, some even right across the road! These schools include:

  • All Saints Catholic School
  • Grant Wood Elementary School
  • Iowa BIG
  • McKinley Steam Academy
  • Johnson Steam Academy Magnet School

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New Buffalo

New Buffalo is a wealthy neighborhood that holds some history with its older homes and almost half the residents being German/Austrian. Located just outside of Interstate 380 and Iowa Highway 100, residents have easy access to a short 15-minute drive to downtown Cedar Rapids, IA.

Many of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1970s-1990s, which gives the neighborhood such a unique look. Living in a neighborhood with older homes means higher home prices. The median home price for this neighborhood is around $265K.

Some potential schools for children in the New Buffalo area include:

  • Xavier High School
  • Champions at Viola Gibson Elementary School
  • Hiawatha Elementary School
  • Pierce Elementary School
  • Kennedy High School

Highlights of Cedar Rapids, IA

Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA
Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA

Although, Cedar Rapids, IA has a lot of wonderful neighborhoods with much to offer, the downtown area has many entertainment and dining options if you are looking for a night on the town! Here are some highlights and the most popular things to do in Cedar Rapids, IA, from theatres, shopping, outdoor activities, unique dining, and many more theatres, shopping, outdoor activities, unique dining, and much more, here are some highlights and the most popular things to do in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Entertainment

  • Brucemore Mansion is a historical house built in 1884 but has been renovated since. This home continues to host concerts, theatrical performances, parties, and much more. You can also just visit the home and take in its beautiful architecture and furnishings.
  • Paramount Theatre, which opened in 1928, was originally named the Capitol Theatre. In 1929 Paramount bought the theatre and renamed it. This theatre has held stars like Willie Nelson and BB King and continues today to host concerts, comedians, Broadway series, and dance recitals.
  • Veterans Memorial Stadium is a baseball stadium built in 2002. The stadium host the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a minor-league baseball team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. In addition to baseball games, the stadium has also hosted concerts by artists like Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
  • Ushers Ferry Historic Village is the perfect place for history buffs. Made up of 20 historical buildings, Ushers Ferry demonstrates what small-town Iowa life was like at the turn of the 20th century. Visitors can enjoy bonfires, hayrides, and walking tours in the summer.
  • Lindale Mall is home to over 100 stores and restaurants. Visitors can find wide selections of jewelry, clothing, shoes, cosmetics, dining, and more. Lindale Mall is sure to satisfy any shopaholics sweet tooth.
  • Hawkeye Downs Speedway, which opened in 1925, hosts Cedar Rapids’ weekly Motorcross racing series. The venue also hosts bingo nights twice a week, as well as concerts, trade shows, conventions, and educational programs.

Dining

  • The Class Act Restaurant offers visitors locally sourced dining options. The Class Act is a great restaurant for family dinners, romantic evenings, and business meetings. This restaurant offers everything from grab-and-go breakfast options to ribeye steak dinners. The best part you ask? The Class Act is affiliated with Kirkwood Community College and its culinary program so you’re experiencing the next generation of chefs first hand!
  • Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano offers some of the best Italian food in the Midwest. They offer a wide selection of pizza, pasta, salads, and steaks. The portions are also very large, enough for two to share, so you’ll never leave Biaggi’s hungry!
  • Emil’s Hideaway offers visitors classic American food options, well-known for its delicious burgers! The restaurant has a cozy vibe where you’ll feel right at home. Although their burgers are always a hit, Emil’s offers a variety of sandwiches and loaded chips and fries.
  • Zeppelins Bar and Grill offers modern American food with vegetarian and vegan options as well! This restaurant is a high-end casual eatery with amazing beers and cocktails. They offer flavorful vegetables like Brussel sprouts, fish options like teriyaki salmon, and a meat lovers’ dream, a prime rib sandwich.
  • Black Sheep Social Club is known for its Iowa version of soul food and drinks. Black Sheep offers Midwest classics with a twist! They offer 24 craft beers and cocktails. Some of their most popular menu items include Duck Fat Fries and Crunch Town Fish Nuggets.
  • Irish Democrat is a vintage-themed restaurant and is a Cedar Rapids favorite. As you may have guessed, Irish Democrat is a classic Irish pub, offering gourmet food and beer. Not only is the environment fun to be around, but their selection of burgers, pizzas, salads, and specialty sandwiches, makes the restaurant even more enjoyable!

Conclusion

Cedar Rapids, IA is a beautiful small city with many amazing neighborhoods, located in northeastern Iowa. The city is known for its lakes and parks, as well as its arts and culture scene. There is so much history and family fun to be found in these neighborhoods so you should consider moving to Cedar Rapids, IA!

Reese Ledford comes from Fort Mill, South Carolina, right outside Charlotte, North Carolina. She is currently studying English and Political Science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. In her free time, she loves to travel, draw, write, exercise, and spend time with friends and family.